Sun. Jun 20th, 2021

On Thursday, U.S. lawmakers introduced a bipartisan, bicameral bill to study the various impacts of state-legalized cannabis programs.

The Marijuana Data Collection Act is being sponsored by an across-the-aisle effort of senators and representatives with noted track records of cannabis support:

  • Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.)
  • Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)
  • U.S. Rep. Sylvia Garcia (D-TX-29)
  • U.S. Rep. Don Young (R-AK)

What’s In The Marijuana Data Collection Act?

The bill would assess both medical and recreational cannabis programs and their economic, public health, criminal justice and workplace effects.

The study would also look at revenue streams generated by legal marijuana markets, how the revenue is used and how it impacts state budgets.  

Aside from financial metrics, the study would look at consumption among population groups, medicinal usage and the impact of cannabis on the opioid crisis.

Sponsors are seeking a 10-year partnership with the National Academy of Sciences and prominent government officials and agencies, including the secretary of health and human services, Attorney General, secretary of labor and other relevant state and health agencies.

Findings from the study would be submitted to Congress every two years over the next decade and made public.

Along with bipartisan congressional support, the bill has the backing of several prominent cannabis advocacy groups such as NORML, the National Cannabis Industry Association and the Minority Cannabis Business Association.

Recent Congressional Cannabis Reform Efforts

The bill is the latest piece of legislation in a congressional session that’s apparently open to discussing cannabis reform.

The Marijuana Data Collection Act joins the CLAIM Act, which Menendez and Paul introduced in March. The bill is aimed at providing insurance options to legal cannabis businesses.

In a press release, NORML political director Justin Strekal said the bill is a data collection effort and not necessarily aimed at reform.

“No member of Congress can intellectually justify opposition to this legislation unless they are willing to deny the fact that the majority of American states are in defiance of the Schedule 1 criminalized status of cannabis,” Strekal said. 

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